Imagine going to a wedding in a fabulous, flattering, expensive outfit – with no shoes on.
It’s a preposterous picture; we’d never forget to accessorise for a big day. Yet when it comes to our homes we’re sometimes so focused on the large items that we forget the finishing touches.
As ever in interior design, less is often more, and a few carefully-chosen accessories can be more striking than simply packing your shelves with too many goodies.
The secret is clarity, not clutter; plenty of space around each accessory will maintain the feeling of airiness in a room while adding points of interest.
If you do have a number of items you want to display, try to group them together in themes – for example, glassware will look great if you have a common colour or shape.
The perfect accessory should enhance the décor and furnishings in your room. For instance, a side table will benefit from a beautiful bowl that draws the eye to it and emphasises the grain of its wooden surface.
So accessories should be worthy of all the attention, and real talking pieces. I love the Romano Armillary Ball, pictured on the stylish Baker tapered shelving unit. The ball is intriguing and gorgeous with its sleek metal curves, which set off the angularity of the shelves perfectly.
The sheen of metal makes it particularly attractive in accessory items, which will gleam in sunlight or lamplight to create that important eyecatching effect.
The Smoke and Nickel Glass Pendant takes that one step further by holding the light itself. Dark, smoky glass panels team up with glinting metal for a light fitting that’s a beauty in itself. It would make a real centrepiece in a dining room, living room or in the airspace of a hallway.
It’s not all about metal, of course. Think about the effect you are trying to create in your room – is it charmingly rustic? If so you might want to add deliciously rough baskets, or ropeware accessories such as the Wood, Glass and Rope Cloche, from Barker and Stonehouse.
Perhaps you’re going for strictly contemporary, in which case you should look for glass and chrome, geometric prints, and always seek out clean lines and simple, elegant styling.
Or maybe you just want to add texture and interest to your existing décor and furnishings. Cushions are ideal for this – they can really add comfort and appeal – and I adore the Skye Check Cushion in this season’s favourite checks, buttoned and fringes in Shetland wool. Truly cushions with character!
The best thing about accessories is that you can change them and swap them round if you feel your living space is feeling a little stale. A new object in a new space can gain a whole new lease of life and rejuvenate your whole scheme.
So invest wisely in keynote pieces and try them in different locations until you get the look exactly right. Just like finding the perfect shoes for that wedding outfit, really!
All of the products are from Barker and Stonehouse unless otherwise stated.